I wasn’t gonna do this, sit down and write anything, but here I am, sitting on the last page of 2015, and I feel like I need to leave my mark on it. Write those words down before I close the book and put it on the shelf.
There was a lot of good this year. A lot of good. And there was the best: Betty and I moved into our (my) dream home. The home we plan on growing old in. Those who know me best know what a big deal this is. Ever since I struck out on my own, Betty at my side, I’ve resisted putting down roots anywhere. I liked the freedom in being able to pick up and leave, that I wasn’t tied down. I didn’t want to grow where I was planted because I didn’t want to be planted. I wanted the ability to chase my dreams across the mountains. But life is funny and dreams shift when you’re older and suddenly the mountains didn’t appeal as strongly as they once did. I wanted a patch of earth to call my own and a house that knew me as well as I knew it. I wanted walls that held memories we spent years making, and a porch Betty and I’d one day sit on to scream at the neighborhood kids.
I’d fallen in love with this house three years ago. I could see us in the first time I walked through. I pictured my kids running the halls and, later, their kids running them too. But one thing led to another and this house I saw our futures play out in played a role in someone else’s and I let it go. Chalked it all up to my writer’s head seeing things that weren’t there. We settled a few houses down and looked around and nodded. This would do. We’d make it work.
But sometimes, once in a while, the universe shakes its head and shuffles things around. The owners were not willing to sell the other house. My dad and stepmom found a house which better suited their needs and moved out of this one. We hesitated, because had it been a sign three years ago when we didn’t get this place that we weren’t supposed to have it? We decided, after a lot of back and forths, to keep an open mind.
Everything fell into place. Like this house was waiting for us, was reaching out, ready to settle in around us. Like it saw our futures here as clearly as I did.
So we’re burying our roots and when I walk in the door, both the walls and I breathe, “mine.” I can’t see the mountains from here, but I have my own patch of earth, and being planted feels pretty good and I get to look back on this year knowing, if nothing else worked, this did.
We took some trips in 2015 and my bestie took one to see me. I started to learn to love the skin I’m in. I made new friends, got closer with old ones, and held fast to the ones who’ve been there. We took on a foster pup, my youngest wee beast started school, and I wrote an entirely new book:
Such a lovely pile of good things to combat the not-so-lovely pile of bad things; mental and physical health going to shit, financial woes, insurance woes, job woes, etc etc.
The book of 2015 was long, but I did some things, some better than others, and I get to stand here, on the edge, and say that I lived. That I caused some mischief and though I can’t claim it was a good year, I can nod because I got through it. I snatched up the good moments and built armor with them to get through the bad ones.
And I’m happy. I’m honest-to-goodness happy, and a few months ago, that felt impossible. Happiness felt like something that would always be just slightly out of my grasp. But, damn it all, I am. Despite the physical health issues still plaguing me, despite none of my goals for this past year being accomplished, despite everything being a tad less than perfect, I’m moving into 2016 happy. Maybe this ending is a happy-for-now one. Maybe I’ll start the new book deep in conflict, but I get to end this story on a high note. That’s something. That’s everything. I’m gonna lace up my boots, that happiness my shield, and strut into 2016 ready to take on whatever is waiting there for me.
And now, for those last words before I close the book and put it on the shelf with all the others:
I hope the coming year is magic.
That the dragons we all come across are friendly and, if they’re not, our swords are sharp and our aim true. I hope we make lovely, terrible things, and we get as much goodness returned to us as we put out. I hope the only tears we cry are from laughter and, if they’re not, there’s always someone there to wipe them away for us. I hope we find light when we need it and we’re a light when someone else does. I hope the only time our bones hurt is from holding someone’s hand too tight or dancing too hard and the spot next to us is never empty when we take a break. I hope we find miracles and mischief and that we are miracles and mischief. I hope our pile of good things are always taller than our pile of bad things and we make friends with the monsters under our bed.
But above all, I hope we’re happy. Dangerously, recklessly happy, and I hope we spread that happiness like seeds and that happiness grows tall and strong with roots thick and deep.
Peace out, 2015. It was real and it was fun, but it wasn’t real fun. I’m not gonna hold it against you, though.
See you kids on the other side. The page will be fresh, our pens full, and the possibilities endless. Let’s write a hell of a story.